10 Benefits of Sexual Satisfaction For Women (And Why You Might Be Missing Out)
Hormonal imbalances impact many systems in the body, but symptoms usually show up as menstrual and gynecological health concerns. Thus, it is impossible to fully address hormonal health without talking about the healthy function of the sex organs. While medicinal foods are Laughing Sage Wellness’ primary tool for healing the body, the health benefits of regular orgasm in regulating women’s hormonal systems are so great that we always check in with our clients to make sure they understand the importance of a satisfying sex life. Plus, we have a created an advanced program for clients who want to focus on creating supportive relationships, building deeper intimacy with their partners, and improving sexual vitality.
“Does sex really impact my overall health?” you ask.
It does! And here’s how:
Top Ten Health Benefits of Sexual Satisfaction for Women:
1. Improves the circulation to organs in the pelvic cavity, the delivering nutrients, the growth of healthy tissues and the regulation of your menstrual cycle. Women who have intercourse at least once a week are more likely to have normal menstrual cycles than women who are celibate or who have infrequent sex.
2. Increases fertility and sense of wellness by energizing your hypothalamus gland, which regulates appetite, body temperature, emotions, and the pituitary gland, which in turn regulates the release of reproductive hormones that induce ovulation and cervical fluid.
3. Provides overall lymphatic massage, helping your body’s natural detoxification process to improve digestion and mood and help prevent cancer.
4. Promotes healthy estrogen levels to keep vaginal tissues supple and protect against osteoporosis and heart disease.
5. Induces deep relaxation by boosting endorphin levels and flushing cortisol (an inflammatory hormone released by the adrenal glands) out of the body.
6. Spikes DHEA levels in the body. DHEA hormone improves brain function, balances the immune system, helps maintain and repair tissue, and promotes healthy skin.
7. Helps you look younger–studies show making love three times a week in a stress free relationship can make you look 10 years younger.
8. Boosts immune system up to 20%–helps fight colds and flu!
9. Cures migraines and helps treat other types of pain by elevating pain thresholds (a bonus when preparing for childbirth!)
10. Increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, which is linked to passion, intuition, and social skills–the hormone of bonding and success!
If you are missing out on these amazing perks, it’s time to investigate the reasons why.
Stress is a major cause of decreased libido. Added stress puts strain on our adrenals, those thumb-sized glands that sit right above our kidneys and kick in to help our body combat stress. The adrenal glands also secrete the hormones necessary to keep your libido intact. When overworked from being in a constant state of stress and alert, the last thing your body wants to do is have sex or procreate.
Aside from low libido, here are some other signs that you might be suffering with adrenal exhaustion:
- difficulty waking up in the morning
- insomnia or difficulty falling asleep
- relying on caffeine and/or sweets to keep you going
- getting sick easily, low immunity
Sound like you?
If so, you’ll want to be taking extra good care of yourself this summer to de-stress and recharge your tired adrenals. It’s important to make sure you’re supporting your body with the proper medicinal foods and supplements. Ensure you are getting the proper guidance and support.
Top Photo: Flickr
Soaring The Skies? 4 Tips To Keep You Healthy (And Less Stressed!)
A big day is coming up, and, if you are going to be flying the friendly skies, we’ve got a few tips to keep the healthy going when sky high! When taking any trip, planning is essential and keeping a few things in mind before heading out could save you a lot of headaches. Here are 4 simple tips to help you plan a safer and healthier travel experience.
#1: Seize your Seat
Take the time to book the best seat available. Are you flying in first or coach? No matter, because sites like seatguru.com can help you to determine where you will be most comfortable in either cabin. It could be that the seat in row 32 is a tad narrow due to the wing of the plane, that seat 10B is right next to the lavatories or that 17C has limited legroom. Finding and booking the most comfortable option in your price bracket can give you the assurance that once you board, you can relax and sleep comfortably if flight time allows. Even a short nap has been shown to improve cognitive function.
#2: Dine by Design
Do you follow a low carbohydrate, gluten free, vegetarian, or kosher diet? Regardless of your which dietary program you follow…declare it to the airline. Don’t just wait to be surprised by the lack of appropriate foods that arrive to you tray table. Indicate your food preference when booking the ticket. After all, you are more likely to cheat on a diet and binge on a sugary snack at the airport during a layover if you missed eating a meal on your first flight because it didn’t fit into your nutritional parameters. You may also want to consider packing a protein bar, or piece of fruit. After all, even the best-laid plans can often go awry.
#3: Stop Stress
Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, your boss called you on the cell phone just as you were heading out the door, or the line at Starbucks was longer than you had expected. Don’t stress out. Plan to give yourself an extra hour to get to your flight. Leaving the city can be quite a challenge, and planning for life’s little unexpected hassles is a must. Stress robs your body of essential B vitamins. A study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that when a subject’s levels of thiamine, a B vitamin, was just ½ that of the daily requirement, the subject became, “irritable, depressed, quarrelsome, uncooperative, and fearful that some misfortune awaited them.” Travel days are difficult enough, especially with the heightened security at the airports. Feeling any of those emotions would only make matters worse. Take the time to arrive early and stave off the stress.
#4: Nourish with Nutrients
We have to consider more than just the stressed B vitamins when traveling. Consider the number of hands that have held the airport escalator railing. Imagine the hundreds of people who have put their shoes soles facing down in the plastic security bin you might be using. Think about the small child who spit up her bottle only yesterday in the seat you might be sitting in today. People carry illness, and airplanes carry people. The air that is re-circulated can be stale and unhealthy. It is wise to take precautions to increase immunity, such as boosting antioxidant levels with a good multivitamin. Antioxidants, such as A, C, E, Alpha Lipoic acid, CoQ10, Grape Seed Extract and Quercetin, can keep you healthy by neutralizing free radicals. Hold back a head cold by keeping your nutrient levels lofty. Remember, better safe than sneezy.
You’re now ready to board that plane and be assured of a healthy start to your upcoming trip. Hey, what seat are you in? Maybe you’ll be seated next to us… you never know. Happy Flying!
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”
Om…BRRR : Cold Weather Yoga Gear & Tips For Your Winter Practice
Yes, it’s officially freezing in NYC, and with dropping temps outside, comes bundling up to get to class (not to mention sometimes chillier studios!). With that in mind, we decided to assemble our favorite products to help keep us warm while getting our OM on (or our OM to class!).
Leg Warmers: Why have leg warmers not made a huge comeback since the 80’s? These things are fantastic. Add a layer of warmth to your yoga pants for the walk, and easily peel off when you start warming up in that second sun salutation. We LOVE these knee high warmers from ToeSox, or for full fledged freezing, look for a thigh high leg warmer!
Yoga Socks: when your feet still need a thaw out and you’re not quite ready to hit the mat barefoot, yoga socks are the perfect answer. Get comfort and warmth without losing any grip with these lovelies from Gaiam.
Lined or heavier Yoga Pants: For chillier temps or if you’re like me and are sporting your yoga gear around town daily, there are some great fleece lined or cold weather yoga pants. Also, don’t be afraid to try some pants that might cross over and be listed as outdoor running or jogging tights. Many are versatile enough to use in your practice. Heavier capris or calf length yoga pants are also out there. If you’re laying up or looking to combine a pair with those leg warmers, try these by Dear Kate. They’re well constructed and a little thicker than your average yoga pant. Also, they’re innovative design allows you to lose one intimate layer, and not have to worry about panty lines of any sort!
Layered Harem Pants: Looking to wear calf length yoga pants or still not warm enough walking to class in your normal yoga gear? Try layering up. We love these Harem 3/4 Ruched Legging by Gaiam. They’re stylish and loose enough to layer over your favorite yoga legging.
Fleece Lined Layering Jackets: A zip up in the perfect way to stay warm on the walk over. I am obsessed with this super warm Calvin Klein Hoodie that I picked up earlier this year at TJ Maxx, and literally wear it almost every cold day. We also love this one from Mondetta with it’s stylish look and warm hoodie. Both can be comfortably worn under jackets and easily zipped off during class. Plus, Mondetta has great sales going on right now AND gives back a percentage to charity. Get shopping and stay warm!
Winter Yoga Tips: Ready to get your OM on now? Check out these great winter tips from Gaiam. Including 5 Poses that are perfect for Winter.
Get Your Down Dog On For the Elephants: Free Yoga At The Bronx Zoo
Another great Yoga Journal event is coming to NYC. They’re teaming up with the 96 Elephants Campaign and invite you to the first-ever Yogis for Ellies event!
Mark your calendars for Friday, September 23, from 4-7 p.m. at the Bronx Zoo. The event will feature free yoga classes with Tao Porchon-Lynch, Kristin McGee, and Bethany Lyons in honor of the 96 elephants who are lost every day.
Join us and help raise awareness and support for elephants through yoga. This free event will include open Bronx Zoo animal exhibits such as Madagascar!, Zoo Center, and the Sea Lion Pool (with a special feeding!).
If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll come and invite your friends to join too! Free admission and parking will be provided, and complimentary snacks and refreshments will be served. Be sure to BYO yoga mat!
Together, at this first Yogis for Ellies event with our friends at the 96 Elephants Campaign, we hope to honor the 96 elephants who are killed every day for their ivory.
Thank you for making your practice count.
5 Steps To De Stress
The numerous demands and expectations of our everyday lives can leave many of us feeling overwhelmed and “stressed out”. While this may not seem like such a big deal, the truth is, stress can take a serious toll on your health. Stressful emotions trigger the release of harmful chemicals like cortisol that can wreak havoc on nearly every aspect of our well-being. A study done by Carnegie Mellon University found that stress contributes to a range of diseases including heart disease and depression. Stress has been found to not only increase the likelihood of illness, but also death from illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Stress has been linked to obesity, hair loss, ulcers, diabetes and infertility.
The good news is there are ways to effectively manage your stress , or de-stress, which are easy to implement!
5 Quick and Easy Ways to De-Stress
1. Don’t rely on caffeine to keep you going. Excess coffee overloads your liver, dehydrates you and increases your risk of dips in energy. Enjoy your morning cup and switch to more hydrating and replenishing beverages in the afternoon, like coconut water or regular water. You can also try herbal coffee (teeccino brand) and herbal teas.
2. Maintain your exercise routine as best you can. When we’re busy and our body is under stress, our adrenal glands need nourishment, not added strain and stress. For example, if you’re used to exercising twice a week, I suggest sticking to your regular routine the best you can (even if you can only do 20 minutes of exercise). You will be surprised at how much more energy and positivity you’ll have at work, family events or with your daily responsibilities when you give your body what it needs and what it’s used to.
3. Make sure you eat your vegetables, especially greens. Don’t worry if there isn’t a spare moment to cook during hectic times. Blend your greens in a delicious and sweet tasting smoothie. Blending takes less time and you can blend your greens for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Whole foods, especially greens, are the key to stamina and good health.
4. Don’t worry if you can’t always make a home-cooked meal. We don’t always have the time to make our own meals when things are busy, which I prefer to do. What’s the next best thing? Buy pre-washed organic salad mixes, cut-up fruit and vegetables and take out healthy options from a natural food store.
5. Meditate and calm your mind. When our minds are telling us to do more, we need to stop and take a moment (five minutes is enough) and do less, even if we have the urge to plow ahead. This can be hard for most, myself included! Meditation helps bring us more balance, so we feel much more centered and don’t get bothered by the little things. Any time we quiet our minds from the constant cycle of thinking, it is meditation!
Cupping: What the craze is really all about.
The therapy, which has been around for thousands of years, uses cups to mobilize blood flow, treat pain and muscle stiffness and promote the healing of many ailments.
One of our practitioners, Heidi Gerber, a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist who a performs cupping at Tournesol, recently talked to Cosmopolitan.com about the treatment and its benefits.
Heidi says cupping “allows the therapist to go where fingers can’t reach.” She adds that it “brings blood flow to the area to loosen muscles and increase your range of motion to help an individual perform better.”
If you’ve ever had a deep massage, Heidi says cupping is a “breeze” compared to that sensation.
To learn more about this new “it” treatment, click here to read the Cosmopolitan.com article and then make an appointment at Tournesol to give it a try!
Solace In The City: Meditation Hot Spots
Seems like everywhere I go, people are talking up the topic of meditation. People want to be able to sit still but have no idea how to start. They hear it’s good for you, like vitamins or massage, but are anxious about how it all works.
You would think that sitting still and quieting your mind is the most effortless thing we can do, but for quick and speedy city people just the thought of it alone gives us anxiety!
I’ve sampled many meditation groups and sessions in this city and know what I like. I believe it’s best to start out meditating in a group, before you purchase a CD and do it at home yourself. Once you get into a meditation groove in a group, then it’s safe to take your practice home. Until then, everything in your apartment will be distracting!
Meditation relieves your worries, puts you in touch with your intuition, increases your happiness, and keeps you centered. No wonder it’s getting so much of attention. I personally do a double dose when I’m feeling especially moody. Look out! Here are some ways to reap the benefits of meditation in the city:
Ishta Yoga – Take a meditation class with Yogi Alan Finger 5:30 pm Monday and Wed or 9:30 am Tuesday and Thursday. It’s easy to follow with Yogi Alan Finger and a great way to get started — be prepared to do a few yoga poses before the meditation begins. Then you can buy Allan’s CD and do it at home.
Dharma Punks – Free meditation sittings on Tuesday nights for the hip, downtown East Village crowd. Everyone is welcome though and look forward to a large group. Meditation is followed by a Dharma talk by a punky spiritual leader with tattoos and all.
Shambhala Center – This Buddhist retreat in the middle of the city offers free meditation sessions and classes. They use a traditional Buddhist method where your eyes are half open — which can be hard. But you can also meet with a meditation counselor there to check in at any point to get help with your specific practice.
Bhavani Lorraine Nelson at Kripalu – Bhavani Lorraine does an amazing meditation workshop three times a year the Kripalu retreat in Massachusetts. Find out when and where she teaches on her website here. Once you take her fabulous workshop, buy her CD and continue the peace at home.
Also, to stay motivated at home, take the Chopra 21 day meditation challenge. It started about a week ago but you can sign up late and start it any time. It is a daily online recording about 15 minutes long.
Enjoy the silence!
Check out Ilana’s blog, Downtown Dharma for more zen tips in the big city.
Sunscreen 101: Mistakes That Will Bring On The Burn
Applying sunscreen seems like a no-brainer, but it’s not all as basic as it seems. Our friends at La Roche-Posay break down the 10 most common mistakes that will bring on the burn!
Waiting until you are outside to apply sunscreen: Sunscreen should be applied at least 15 minutes before going out into the sun so that it can fully absorb into your skin.
Applying sunscreen around your clothes: Skin cancer can strike anywhere, so it’s best to apply sunscreen before you put on your clothes. If you already have it on you’re likely to apply it gingerly so you don’t get it on your clothing, which makes it likely to miss spots.
It’s not the right stuff: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every. Look for any brand with an ingredient called mexoryl, a UVA-blocking compound.
Being stingy: Be sure to cover your entire body. To cover your entire body, the American Academy of Dermatology estimates it should take a shot glass size amount of sunscreen.
Missing key spots: Most common place to get skin cancer is the back of your calves. There are lot of areas people tend to forget and are just as important to protect including toes and feet, underarms, back of the neck, ears, and eyelids.
Not reapplying: This should be reapplied at least every two hours and if you are sweating or swimming, you should reapply more often. You cannot apply once and consider it done for the day, even the sweatproof, waterproof, and long-acting sunscreens wear off.
Not choosing the right sunscreen for your activity:If you are going to be at the beach or pool, wear a waterproof and/or sweat-proof SPF. If you are planning on doing activities where you might perspire make sure you get a water-resistant formulation.
SPF is not for your skin complexion: Skin cancer does not discriminate and every skin type needs to be protected. The myth about dark skin not needing protection is just that, a myth.
Being outdoors midday: Midday sun is the most intense and damaging. Peak sun hours are now between 10am and 4pm so try not to be outside for an hour or more.
Not worrying about the kids just yet: Protecting children from the sun not only prevents painful sunburn, it also significantly reduces the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Babies should start wearing sunscreen at 6 months and La Roche-Posay offers mineral options that contain unique blends of UV filters that provide the ultimate broad spectrum protection.
Top Photo: La Roche Posay
Beyond Aphrodisiacs: 5 Food Strategies for a Better Love Life
Is there a magic food to rev up your libido?
We’ve all heard of aphrodisiacs – which are wonderful and very powerful – but if certain other aspects of your diet and endocrine system are not balanced, chances are you won’t feel a thing just from eating oysters.
So what foods can boost your libido and improve your love life?
Foods that support your adrenals and rev up your libido are those that keep your blood sugar balanced, your mood stabilized, and your cortisol levels low, while naturally upping DHEA production.
If these factors aren’t in place, you are probably feeling tired, depressed, foggy-headed, having difficulty sleeping, getting frequent colds, or some combination of them. Not only from a nutritional perspective will this weaken your sex drive, but also from an emotional perspective – you just won’t have the capacity to thrive.
So get started on the road to better health and a better love life.
Here are the 5 food strategies you MUST know about!
- Switch to decaf – Caffeine first thing in the morning will zap the life out of your adrenals, leaving you even more tired at that 3 or 4pm lull. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, start by switching to decaf or green tea, then eventually switch over to herbal teas.
- Skip the salad at lunch– That’s right! Contrary to popular belief that salads at lunch are the healthy way to go, depriving your body of a whole grain carbohydrate source at lunchtime will bring on sweet cravings later in the day and disturb your blood sugar balance. So throw some brown rice into your salad bowl, or eat a sandwich or sushi rolls.
- Take shortcuts with your snacks – Instead of mindlessly munching Cheerios or fruit snacks with your kids, keep balanced snacks around for yourself. Always have on hand protein sources like: organic sliced turkey breast (which provides the building blocks for mood stabilization), whole hard boiled eggs, canned salmon and sardines (skip the tuna! Too much mercury and not enough EFAs). Whole grain quick fixes include: Mary’s Gone Crackers and precooked brown rice bowls from Trader Joes. And don’t forget about sliced veggies with peanut butter or hummus!
- Nourish your adrenal glands with supportive foods – Load up on sea vegetables (nori, hijiki, dulse, kelp – which come in flakes that you can easily sprinkle onto your food), black sesame seeds, black and kidney beans. These foods work to nourish your tired adrenals.
- Get in your Essential Fatty Acids – Especially if you’re breast feeding, your body can be starved of the EFAs, essential for mood stabilization. If you can’t get in things like avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds, then take a fish oil or flax oil supplement.
Top Photo: Flickr
5 Places to Get Centered in the City.
Sinatra said it all when he sang the words, “I want to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep.” Waking up is the key here, for if you are spending your days in a trance from lack of sleep or you feel like a hamster on a wheel at work, then how are you ever going to be the king – or the queen – of the hill and top of the heap?
It’s easy to feel off-balance, especially if you live in New York City. External demands and the fast pace often result in internal pressure, which is inevitably affecting your day, your relationships, your mind and your body. So how can you get centered in the city?
Here are 5 places to get centered in the city:
- New York Open Center– Committed to holistic learning and world culture, NY Open Center offers a variety of programs including lectures, classes, certification programs, yoga, and volunteer opportunities. They attract amazing speakers/teachers like Dr. Michael Beckwith and Marianne Williamson and attract like-minded participants. They recently moved to a new location: 22 East 30th Street.
- Sacred Center New York – If you’re seeking a spiritual community that will support you in going deeper in your personal growth by giving you tools to live a prosperous life, then look no further. Sacred Center New York, led by the dynamic Rev. August Gold, holds a service each Sunday where Western teachings are blended with Eastern philosophies, music fills the room, and all are welcome. Classes and guest speakers like “The Secret’s” Lisa Nichols, are also offered each month.
- Meta Center New York – Dedicated to raising consciousness, healing, personal growth, transformation and creativity, the Meta Center offers workshops and lectures on all of these topics. This educational center has been Feng Shui aligned and you feel it the second you walk in. Founded by Jodi Serota, META stands for Multi-dimensional Education and Transformational Arts Center.
- Kabbalah Centre – If you want to get on the same, spiritual page as Demi, Ashton and Madonna, this is your place. Through classes, books, webinars and one-on-one instruction, you will learn how to apply the ancient wisdom of the Kabbalah – the study of how to receive fulfillment – to everyday life.
- Chopra Center & Spa – Deepak Chopra has created a space in the Dream Hotel to help “calm the chaotic lives of busy New Yorkers”. How much do we love this guy? This center offers workshops, yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic spa treatments designed to bring balance to the mind and body.Here’s to you getting centered in the city!
Stefanie Ziev is a Certified Life Coach who helps people discover what makes them happy by developing a healthy relationship with themselves the way they would a friend or a partner. Stefanie coaches individual and corporate clients, leads seminars and speaks to groups about a variety of topics related to consciously developing a healthy and committed relationship with one’s self and one’s life. Her approach is creative, fun, and direct as she holds clients accountable to themselves throughout this powerful and transformational process. For more infomation on Stefanie or her services go to www.ZievCoaching.com